Worth Watching: Aloha to ‘Hawaii Five-0,’ Nature Specials on Disney+, Revisiting Julia Child
A selective critical checklist of notable Friday TV:
Hawaii Five-0 (9/8c, CBS): After 10 seasons and 240 episodes, it’s time for the successful reboot of the classic crime drama to say “Aloha.” The series finale circles back to the pilot episode, with McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) revisiting the intrigue surrounding the violent death of his father (William Sadler) a decade ago. Also making repeat appearances as villains from McGarrett’s past: Mark Dacascos as Wo Fat and James Marsters as Victor Hesse. In Hawaii tradition, there are gun battles and things go boom before it’s over. In TV finale tradition, there’s plenty of sentiment — and classic McGarrett/Danny (Scott Caan) banter — and oh so many hugs.
Elephant and Dolphin Reef (streaming on Disney+): Nature films have long been a Disney specialty, and celebrity narrators help tell the stories of young animals in two new movies. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex (if she’s still using that title) narrates Elephant, which follows a family of pachyderms on an epic journey following their ancestors’ footprints. Oscar winner Natalie Portman is the voice behind Dolphin Reef, the story of a young Pacific bottlenose dolphin Echo and its growing pains.
Also on Disney+: the early streaming debut of animated hit Onward, about teenage elf brothers voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. Other streaming highlights:
Tales From the Loop (Amazon Prime Video) is a haunting anthology of mind-bending stories, inspired by the visionary artwork of Simon Stålenhag, that trace the effect on an Ohio town and its people of an underground Center for Experimental Physics whose mission is to “unlock and explore the mysteries of the universe.”
The third and final season of Hulu’s hilarious sci-fi spoof Future Man drops all eight episode, with Josh (Josh Hutcherson) on the run through time with warrior cohorts Tiger (Eliza Coupe) and Wolf (Derek Wilson) as they try to escape a sentence of death by entertainment… Hulu’s monthly horror anthology Into the Dark gathers an unusually impressive cast for the latest installment, “Pooka Lives!,” about a viral-media villain who manifests most murderously. Stars include Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s Rachel Bloom, MST3K‘s Jonah Ray and Timeless star Malcolm Barrett.
Apple TV+ launches all 10 episodes of the peculiar mystery drama Home Before Dark (already renewed for a second season), starring Brooklynn Prince as 9-year-old budding journalist Hilde. Think Murder, She Wrote with Jessica Fletcher as an elementary-school snoop who self-publishes her impulsive conclusions, stirring up trouble in a small Washington town about a cold case involving her own father (Jim Sturgess), a reporter between jobs. Even when she’s right, little Hilde comes off as more obnoxious than precocious.
Netflix offerings include the fourth season of hit Spanish caper Money Heist, in which the thieves are trapped inside the Bank of Spain, and the film Money Heist: The Phenomenon, which looks at the impact the series has had around the world… The action-comedy movie Coffee & Kareem stars The Office‘s Ed Helms as Detroit cop James Coffee, who runs afoul of girlfriend Taraji P. Henson‘s foul-mouthed 12-year-old son Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) The boy’s scheming to break up the couple turns to deadly slapstick when they’re all exposed to a criminal network.
Dishing with Julia Child (10/9c, PBS, check local listings at pbs.org): Who wouldn’t want to mix it up with TV’s beloved French Chef? In a six-part series, celebrated chefs replay favorite episodes of Child’s iconic cooking series, reflecting on the influence she had on the culinary scene as well as their own careers. In the premiere, José Andrés and Eric Ripert watch her tackle “the Whole Fish.”
Inside Friday TV: Recently seen reprising her classic role of Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Picard, Jeri Ryan enters the world of CBS’s MacGyver (8/7c) as MacGyver’s (Lucas Till) aunt Gwen, who he never knew existed. She enters the picture after Mac’s father, Oversight (Tate Donovan), is almost killed in a bombing… You’d think by now everyone would trust a figure of authority like Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck), but on CBS’s Blue Bloods (10/9c), he faces backlash after suspending an officer for violent behavior… The virtual guest list on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher (10/9c) includes L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti, Family Guy‘s Seth MacFarlane, country legend Willie Nelson, author Max Brooks and still-running-for-president Sen. Bernie Sanders.